Days of Change

Pence-sive

July 15, 2016
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Usually, when a campaign doesn’t vet a Vice Presidential Candidate fully, the VP embarrasses them. In the case of Mike Pence, it seems to be the opposite.

The Trump campaign looked at many people for the VP slot, including people in office, out of office and some with no political experience. Many experienced Republicans wanted nothing to do with the Trump branded dumpster fire, so most of the short list were either outsiders or people out of office entirely. Best estimates are that Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich and Pence were the top 3. Christie was probably not conservative enough. Newt mostly amplified the brashness of Trump himself.

Mike Pence seemed to be a good combination. He was a Congressman and current governor. He’s compared himself to Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. He’s a strong conservative. He’s the pro-life governor who prompted the left to make “transvaginal” a buzzword. Plus, he’s in a tough reelection fight and may go back to doing talk radio. Getting media exposure is more of a positive for him at this point.

The issue with Pence is that today was the last day he could pull his name off the ballot for Indiana governor. Under that state’s version of a sore loser law, a person cannot run for two offices (governor and Vice President) at the same time. At that point, it becomes a public record.

According to official releases from the Trump campaign, no decision was made until last night. When Pence looked like the pick, (he flew to New Jersey) some of his less Trump-friendly comments came out. Then Trump postponed his announcement. The problem was that the news would be out as soon as Pence withdrew. It seems a good bet something was going on in the Trump campaign.

Paul Manafort (Trump’s new professional campaign guy) liked Pence. His family liked either Newt or Christie. It would not be a surprise that Trump wavered at the last minute, seeing the negative reaction on social media. Unfortunately, the die was cast and the one normal decision of the campaign was going down the tubes. So, a tweet just before Pence’s filing was the official announcement after everyone knew the result.

I’m waiting for the convention with morbid curiosity.


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Donald, Tell Me What to Think!

July 14, 2016
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The speculation about the Friday announcement of the Donald Trump VP pick is that Mike Pence has to decide tomorrow if he’s going to run for governor again. Otherwise, it might be harder for a Republican to get on the ballot. At least one member of the Trump team would be thinking of the Republican Party as a collection of individuals. In short, he’s what Trump devotees consider establishment.

I’ve been reading comments starting with Pence rhyming with “fence” and descending into disappointment that Trump would pick such a safe choice as Pence and that he’s too amnesty minded for the average Trumpette’s liking. Adding fuel to the fire is the praise of Pence by the White House. Also, Jeff Flake, the winner in an embarrassing exchange for Trump, praised Pence as one of Trump’s best decisions yet.

Among the people who have fallen under Trump’s spell, when he veers to the nationalist right, he’s standing up for America and keeping us safe. When he careens to the left, he’s not bound by conservative dogma and does not bow down before the Bush dynasty. In other words, whatever Trump does is perfect. I think Trump sucks, but the idea of Hillary winning does not fill me with glee. Both candidates are bad. I am truly indifferent in that respect.

It’s too bad that over the next 18 hours with no formal announcement, supporters will have to waiver between accepting Pence as Trump’s personal savior or knowing in their hearts that Trump had some kind of fake-out planned all along. Whatever the reality, it’s the best idea ever.

 


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Everything is Just Fine

July 13, 2016
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Today’s delusion is that the one-time hit of a Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal will take her out of the running for the presidency and Donald Trump 2.0 will swoop in with the perfect Vice President. Just look at the polls. He within the margin of error in 3 states!

Realistically, any breathing Republican should be able to beat Hillary. In fact, EVERY other breathing Republican does better than Donald against Hillary. The real concern is if Trump can get himself together and wage a campaign just barely good enough so that he can beat Clinton. We’re hoping for minimal effort in an election when we could have made bold choices.

Of course, we are not fine. Four days of fresh hell are coming, coupled with the fact that the convention is at least not predictable. I can’t even fathom what it means for America if shock and celebrity is the new normal for everything.


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Boundless

July 12, 2016
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A delegate in Virginia got a court to declare that state law cannot force him to vote as a bound delegate for Donald Trump. However, this would only apply if a conscience clause is passed by the RNC rules committee this week. The party says he has to vote Trump.

The problem here is that many delegates were chosen before Donald Trump got in the race and they either don’t like him, think he will lose, or both. The Trump supporter would consider this unfair, mostly because it puts a Trump nomination in danger. A Trump opponent would point out the weakness of nominating a candidate who got less than 50% of the Republican vote and won large swaths of delegates with a slim plurality.

Given the situation, it is entirely possible that John Kasich will get the exciting convention he suggested when he was still running. Of course, he ran for the sole purpose of dragging Cruz down. I would find it exciting if Cruz were to win the nomination. Then again, the ground game is so bad right now that he should probably turn it down for a better chance at 2020.


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I Ain’t Watching No Ghosts

July 11, 2016
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The reviews are tricking in for Ghostbusters and it stinks. It doesn’t do enough man bashing to be a feminist masterpiece and isn’t campy enough to go to the theater to mock it. It was a half-baked script from the “Bridesmaids” director with the Bridesmaids cast. Hopefully, the veneer has worn off Paul Feig and the next Ghostbusters movie will go back to the drawing board.


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The Laws of Thermodynamics

July 10, 2016
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“It should have worked.”

The lament of the engineer happens when something that should work on paper doesn’t and much more time and effort has to be expended to make it work. Sometimes the design is bad. Sometimes, the materials aren’t quite good enough. Sometimes, there’s a loose wire. Then there are the times that something on paper just can’t work in real life.

Keynesian economics uses the term “animal spirits” as an attempts to quantify the effect of human psychology. The smart investor buys low and sells high, for example. Most people, however, tend to buy as the price of a stock reaches it’s zenith and then holds on to it long after its value has cratered. People also hoard money in an economic downturn, which worsens it and spend money during a boom, potentially leading to a bust.

In physics, there are the laws of thermodynamics. One thing you learn there is that any system or machine can’t be 100% efficient. There’s heat loss and entropy. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.

Social science, economics and mechanics all have to deal with variability. This is not about developing correction factors to make things work, either. Some things seem like they should work and they just don’t, no matter how much you want them to. My best example is socialism. It would be extremely efficient if all the needed resources were distributed evenly and all the labor was shared among the population. However, it doesn’t work. It never works and it never will work.

When we talk about the idea of an egalitarian police force of highly intelligent human beings who don’t make mistakes, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. It’s similar logic to disbanding police forces and relying on everyone’s personal morality to end crime. Personal ethics are the most variable. That’s why I believe in religion over the Atheist fairy tale of being a good person for its own sake. The ones who count themselves as proof are more likely using their own ego to keep them from making an ass of themselves by betraying their own rules.

Over and over, the left has set up the perfect as the enemy of the good. No matter how much better things are every generation, they find a way to make right now the most perilous time in history. Crimes where police are completely unjustified seem to fall by the wayside because White people think they are guilty. Only the murkiest circumstances get press attention, like violent offenders and guys with guns in their lap who get shot by police.

So, the grievance machine of the left may be the thing that works because it doesn’t work. Since life isn’t perfect, Utopia is always a little further away. I guess the only solution is to reject progressive dogma entirely and live in the blissful ignorance of a world that’s still working even if it’s not supposed to be.


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Sarah Palin’s Kind of Last Stand

July 9, 2016
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The United States has a weird history with vice presidents. The position is Constitutionally weak and most of the powers only kick in if the president dies. The second amendment passed after the Bill of Rights was ratified a decade after the Constitution and had the effect of making a vice president aware that they were running for a job with little power.

The irony is that when a president died in office, the Vice President was a guy chose by the President as running mate specifically to get him out of the way. The Republicans were trying to get TR out of the way as VP when McKinley was killed and the Democrats wanted LBJ out of Congress by making him VP. And then Kennedy was killed.

Other Vice presidential running mates end up further out of the party after their campaign loses. Paul Ryan (from 2012) is losing his popularity and influence by the day after reluctantly becoming Speaker of the House. John Edwards peaked in 2004 and then was brought down by scandal during his 2008 presidential run. Joe Lieberman ran for Vice president in 2000, then supported Republican George W. Bush in 2004 and left the Senate after barely winning the election in 2006.

Sarah Palin had a fairly bad time as the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee. While she added much needed excitement to the McCain ticket, she was often the scapegoat for problems in the campaign and was relegated to the crowd work she excelled in over McCain. After going back to Alaska, the Democrats in the legislature used lawfare to get her to resign. Then she became a voice in the Tea Party movement, something that was never effectively embraced by the Republican Party.

Unlike most every other Trump supporter, I understand Palin’s motives. She was rejected by the Republican establishment and ignored by most Republican office holders. Palin holds a high place in the Trump campaign and was one of the early endorsements that propelled him forward.

Trump, Ryan, Palin and even Ted Cruz are examples of why the Tea Party and the Republican Party were not going to co-exist for very long. The Republicans tried the angry white man strategy in the 1990’s to no avail. They’ve turned to a desperate attempt to look like the adults in the room and offering something for Hispanics and Asians to keep their party from going under. The effectiveness of the Tea Party itself is in some doubt. Republicans did well in 2014 without much Tea Party exposure.

Now we’re at a crossroads. Donald Trump was the only Tea Party candidate with the ability to make it past the roadblocks from the GOP. The problem is that a lot of Republicans would rather eliminate the Tea Party’s bad choices than secure a temporary victory with them. Trump supporters are now vacillating between demanding support from Republicans who don’t like Trump to bold pronouncements that he can win without them.

Sadly, that’s where Sarah Palin is. She has decided to call the “Never Trump” group traitors if they don’t blindly support Donald no matter what he says, how badly his operation is running and how many Neo-Nazi sites his retweeted memes came from. I have held back from declaring myself never Trump. However, if Trump requires my allegiance and at the same time he does nothing to make himself a better candidate, that Trump is never going to work for me.

Sarah Palin has a place in a Trump presidency. I don’t think she has a place in the Republican Party if he loses.


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Shot to Hell

July 8, 2016
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If you wanted to know why the Hillary Clinton get out of jail free card wasn’t dumped on a Friday, it was probably to pave the way for less bad employment numbers for June. Life had other plans, so did death.

One of the reasons why police have more legal protections and their murders have greater penalties, Dallas was a prime example. Law enforcement is frequently known by their uniforms and are often at the edge of a crowd while guiding their movements. What we know about the shooting is that one or possibly more shooters took aim from a building and fired multiple rounds at police who were at the back of a protest march for “Black Lives Matter.” 11 officers were hit along with one civilian. 5 officers died.

I predicted back in 2012 that the election meant that America is basically over. Even though in this new country the guy on the roof would be at home with the sentiments of the protesters on the ground, it is not Obama’s America. It is the America of the 66 million people who chose not to vote for Mitt Romney or the 69 million who voted for Obama in 2008. It’s 100 years of progressivism started by Republicans and quickly taken over by Democrats. It’s not something that will be solved by one person winning and election in 4 months, either.


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Surprise! Trump is Lying About Money

July 7, 2016
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Less than a week after June ended, the Trump campaign put out some numbers about how fundraising went. The narrative they wanted was that they raised $50 million in June while Hillary Clinton only raised $40 million in May. That’s all bullshit.

  1. Trump is combining party fundraising and campaign fundraising. Under that measure, Clinton beat him $70 million to $51 million.
  2. Clinton raised $40 million by her campaign alone, Trump says he raised $25 million. Given that the DNC and RNC operations are raising similar amounts, the Clinton campaign out-raised Trump by 8:5 on his best month.
  3. None of this has been formalized by an FEC filing yet. Trump’s crowing is decidedly undeserved plus we have no idea how this will all work out, especially since his press release included the last week of May.
  4. Trump “donated” $4 million last month. He still hasn’t filed the paperwork to turn his $50 million loan into a contribution, which is the equivalent of writing a check out to cash and not letting go of it when you’re handing it over.
  5. Trump is supposedly running a cheap campaign and has cash on hand. Romney had cash on hand as well. He lost. In politics, money is there to spend.

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Better Than a Pardon

July 6, 2016
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President Bush waited until the end of his term to pardon two Border Patrol Agents who were in jail for shooting an illegal Mexican drug dealer in the ass (technically, their sentences were commuted) and Scooter Libby, who supposedly blabbed the worst kept secret in Washington, that Valerie Plame was a spy. Bill Clinton pardoned people (the ones who didn’t die, anyway) who helped his ascent to the White House by clamming up and doing time for him.

Obama has made sure that the new crop of totally amoral progressives forged in the last two decades of George Soros are at the highest levels of government. Possessing no personal morality and only dogmatic adherence to policy goals, they are only limited by their sheer gall. Hillary Clinton never stood a chance against Team Obama.

She chose to join them. So instead of admitting guilt, (certainly not a Bill Clinton trait) Hillary instead remained resolute in his story of absolute denial. Yesterday, we saw James Comey essentially contradict much of Clinton’s statements to the media. She did have a server off the books and she did receive classified material that was classified at the time she got it. He did fall short of recommending she be charged with a crime. That led to another round of speculation that the Obama cartel got to him like John Roberts and so many others.

I personally think the people up against Obama lack gall. While Trump would be a contrast to that, his equal lack of professional morality (remember, thousands of lawsuits) is not the cure. The GOP lacked gall, so they fought the guy they could, Ted Cruz, instead of fighting the guy who didn’t give a damn about the Republican Party.

I can’t wait to see how many cronies Trump pardons.


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